forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Charles Butler
Date:  Fri Aug 21, 1998  6:19 am
Subject:  Re: Clarification of Standardisation of ASL

> Standardize the written form? That makes more sense except the
> written form is supposed to parallel usage. Still, the idea is not
> that bad. I think in a sense Valerie and others work is pretty much
> along those lines right now. SW is still developing, you know.

Standardizing writing form in Sign Writing is perhaps equivalent to
clarification of the international phonetic alphabet to standardly
present a labio-dental unvoiced fricative as "f". Various languages may
use the labio-dental unvoiced fricative differently, and sometimes don't
distinguish it from a "v", but if one is going to reproduce a particular
sound accurately, regardless of culture, then "f" will indicate what you
want, without ambiguity. Sign Writing likewise can indicate a palmate
hand facing forward from the user placed in the plane of the speaker's
face at the forehead unambiguously (one of the current ASL-signs for
"deer.") That is an example of Sign Writing as a "standardized" usage.
It does not create "sign language" but it records it unambiguously.

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